Thursday, February 24, 2022

How Hard Is It To Get What I Need?

"But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into Heaven?" (that is to bring Christ down from above)
or, " 'Who will descend into the Abyss?' " (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
Romans 10:6-9 (NKJV)

If you need to find something, you have to look for it, but where would you look?  What if someone told you that you had to climb a mountain to get what you needed, but they were not telling you the truth, and maybe you actually already had what you needed?  What if someone knew about what you needed and they had already brought you that thing and placed it in your home?  Then how hard would it be for you to get that thing?  It would not be hard at all, of course, because that thing you need is right there with you.

It is unfortunate that many believers today have the mistaken idea that taking advantage of everything that God has done for them in Christ is extremely difficult.  If you listen to some Christians, it is almost like God is trying to make it hard to take hold of what has been made available to us because of JesusBut God is not trying to make things difficult for His children; everything that He has provided for us through Jesus is something He wants us to have and take advantage of.

What we need is not up in heaven, under the earth somewhere, or in some distant land that is impossible to get to.  Salvation, for example, is not based on our performing some difficult task; we believe in what Jesus did, we confess that with our mouth, and we are saved.  This is the same way we take advantage of everything that God has provided for us through Jesus.  Don't make things harder than they have to be.  Learn what belongs to you in Christ, lay hold of it by faith, and live in that reality.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Asking Without Receiving?

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
Matthew 7:7-8 (NKJV)

My first experience with touchless faucets was frustrating.  I went to a sink that had no handle for the water, and when I finally realized it was a touchless faucet, I waved my hand around, but didn't get any water.  However, once I put my hand in the right place, everything was fine.  There was nothing wrong with the sink, even though at first I thought that there was.  The problem was that while I had the right idea, the way I was doing things was wrong.  Once I used the right method, everything was fine.

Prayer is a wonderful opportunity for us to fellowship with God and talk to Him about things that are important to us.  We may see verses like Matthew 7:7-8, and then we pray, but we don't see the desired result.  Sometimes the reason for this is because we have not taken the entire context of God's Word into account.  First of all, we need to come to God with His Word as our foundation, this assures us that we are asking according to His will, and we can be sure He will hear, and answer, our prayers (1 John 5:14-15).

Also, there are things that can hinder our prayers.  James tells us that we must ask in faith (James 1:6) and if we ask with the wrong motive we will not receive (James 4:3).  Peter warned husbands that if they did not treat their wives in the right way, that those husband's prayers would be hindered (1 Peter 3:7), and this is not something that would just be limited to husbands and wives either.  For successful prayer, to always be sure that when we ask, we receive, we need to follow the guidelines for prayer that we have in God's Word. 

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Be Careful How Fast You Walk

"We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification."
Romans 15:1-2 (NKJV)

While I was out walking the other day, I saw a mother and her young child who were also out for a walk.  Right away, I noticed the speed they were walking.  It was easy to see that the mother's pace was set to what was appropriate for the child.  The mother was obviously an adult and the child was no more than four years old.  The mom could have certainly walked faster than she was walking, but that would have created a problem for her child, so she walked at the speed that was best for the child.

Every believer is at a different level of spiritual development.  There are some Christians who are more spiritually developed than others, and some believers who are not as spiritually mature and do not have the same depth of understanding and knowledge.  If a mature believer meets an immature believer, should the person who is more spiritually developed look down on the younger believer and treat them as less of a Christian?  The answer of course is no; the more mature Christian should do what they can to help the less mature believer.

Usually, we all want to move at our own pace, naturally and spiritually.  But, as Paul pointed out in Romans 15:1-2, those who are spiritually strong ought to do what they can to help the weak and not to just please themselves, but rather do what will benefit and build up others.  We need to look for, and be aware of, the opportunities we find to spiritually walk alongside of younger believers and do what we can to help them, not moving at our spiritual pace, but walking together with them at their pace.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Born Of God

"Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him."
1 John 5:1 (NKJV)

When I applied for my residence visa in Germany, I was asked where I was from, where I was born.  While it would have been accurate to say that I was born in a hospital, that was not really what they were asking about.  They wanted to know where I was born in the sense of where I came from, they wanted to know my place of origin.  If they had listened to me talk, or asked me a few questions, they might have guessed I was from the USA, but they wanted my own statement as to where I was from.

As Christians, it is important for us to understand that we are born of God, we are a new creation in Christ and a child of God; that is our place of origin, spiritually speaking.  Because we have been born again, we are a part of God's Family, the Church.  We are born of God, taken from spiritual death into spiritual life and all that we once were is gone!  We are not just people that God is tolerating, and He sometimes lets us sneak into His Kingdom to get a few benefits that we really don't deserve.

Some Christians do not have a complete understanding of what it means to be born of God, and they still live under a mentality that they are not worthy of all that God has done for them.  As a born again believer, we are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.  When the devil questions you in your relationship with God, telling you that you are an undeserving, second-rate follower of God, just remember who you really are in Christ, and boldly declare that you are born of God, qualified for everything that God has provided for you through Jesus!